The ABC of surfing


360ER: A full turn (360°) with the surfboard.


AERIAL OFF-THE-LIP: Jumped drop with the surfboard.

AERIAL OLLIE-POP: jump in the wave like on a skateboard.


BACKSIDE: Surfing with your back to the wave so that you load the backside edge.

BACKWASH: Buff wave that “backwashes”, usually at high tide and in deep waters.

BEACHBREAK: Surf spot breaking on sandy ground.

BLANK: Coarse preformed foam core used to make a surfboard.

BOTTOM TURN: Steep turn in the wave trough to surf back up the wave/get momentum.

BOTTOM: The bottom of the surfboard.

BREAKING LINE (English: LINE UP): “Line” where the waves begin to break through shallow water.



CHANNEL: Quiet area between two wave spots that is good for paddling out because the current pulls out.

CHANNELS: Channel-like concaves on the underside of the board to create lift.

CHOPPY: Cable waves caused by wind.

CLEAN UP SET: Above average waves, which usually “wash away” all surfers in the water.

CLOSED OUT: Wave that breaks along its entire length to the simultaneous.

CROSSSHORE: Wind that blows parallel to the wave.

CUT BACK: Curve back to the refractive edge of the wave.



DECK: The top of the surfboard.

DING: English word for a damage of the surfboard.

DROP IN: The driving into the wave. Also, violating the right of way rules by “reindropping” into a wave that is already being surfed by another surfer.

DUCK DIVE: Dive through technique to get into the line-up.



EBBE: When the seawater runs off, it is called the ebb tide. Duration usually 6h 12min.

EPOXYD RES IN: Synthetic resin, which is stronger compared to polyester resin and is used for laminating surfboards.



FINNING: Fin -like “stabilizers” on the tail of the surfboard.

FISH: Board form widespread in the 70s. It features a wider and rounder board shape, which in turn allows the board to be shorter. It is mainly suitable for more radical tricks in small to medium wave sizes.FLOATER: When the wave “closes”: continues gliding on top of the “lip” of the wave, similar to the 50-50 grind in skateboarding.

FLOOD: When the water rises, it is called a flood. Duration usually 6h 12min.

FOAM: Artificial foam from which the blanks are made.

FOOT: Unit of measurement: 1 foot = 30.48 cm

FRONTSIDE: Surfing with your chest to the wave.



GLASSY: Smooth water surface and usually the best surfing conditions because there is no wind.

GOOFY: Surfer standing with his left foot behind.

GUN: Narrow & long surfboard for high & fast waves.



HANG FIVE: Trick in which one foot is placed on the nose. Mostly while longboarding.

HANG TEN: Trick in which both feet are placed on the nose.

HIGH TIDE: see high tide

HIGH WATER: highest water level.



IMPACT ZONE: Area near the curl where the wave breaking is the hardest.

INCH: unit of measurement, 1 inch = 2.54cm



KICK OUT: Leaving the wave via the lip, often associated with a jump out of the wave.



LAMINAT: glass fiber reinforced plastic, the “skin” of the surfboard

LAY BACK: Lean with your back into the wave to slow yourself down.

LEASH: Safety leash attached to the ankle as well as the board, which prevents you from losing the surfboard.

LEFTHANDER: Left breaking shaft

LINE UP: Total area where the wave breaks.

LEFT-BREAKING WAVE: Wave that breaks to the right as seen from the beach.

LIPPE: top part of the shaft.

LONGBOARD: Long and voluminous surfboard from about 2.60, with a round nose

LOW TIDE: Low water



MID TIDE: Mean water level (between low and high tide)

MINI MALIBU: surfboard in the shape of the longboard, only a little shorter



NATURAL FOOT: = Regular – surfer standing with the right foot behind.

LOW WATER: lowest water level.

NOSE: The tip of the surfboard



OFF SHORE: offshore wind. The waves build up steeply due to the “headwind” and thus usually break hollow.

ON SHORE: Onshore wind. The wave is flattened by “tail wind” – bad surfing condition

OUTSIDE: Outermost point where the waves break.



PEAK: First refraction point of the wave

PIN TAIL: Tip tail shape of the surfboard, less maneuverability but more stability

PLUG: Attachment part for the leash incorporated in the tail of the surfboard.

POINTBREAK: Wave that always breaks in the same place, usually through a reef.



RAILS: The outer edges of the surfboard.

REEFBREAK: Wave that breaks over a reef of rock, lava rock or coral.

RIGHT-BREAKING WAVE: Wave that breaks to the left as seen from the beach.

RIGHTHANDER: Right breaking wave

RIP: Strong current, which usually runs out to the open sea between two points.

ROCKER: bending up the surfboard over the long side.

ROUND TAIL: Rounded tail



SCOOP: bending up the nose of the surfboard

SECTION: Different refraction ranges within one wave

SET: Regularly occurring grouping of waves.

SHAPE: The basic shape of a surfboard.

SHORE BREAK: Wave breaking directly onto the shore

SHORTBOARD: Short surfboard up to approximately 7 feet in length.

SHORTY: wetsuit with short sleeves and short legs.

SINGLE FIN: Surfboard with only one fin, nowadays only common for classic longboards.

SPOT: Location where a surfable wave breaks.

SPRINGTIDE: Above-average tidal differences occurring at full and new moon.

SQUARE TAIL: Straight cut tail shape.

STEAMER: Long wetsuit

STRINGER: Wooden stiffener in the middle of the surfboard, which gives the surfboard the stability.

SWALLOW TAIL: Swallow tail shape with V-shaped incision.



TAIL: Tail of the surfboard.

TAKE OFF: The start into the wave: Paddle up, stand up and go.

THRUSTER: Surfboard with three fins

TIDE: The entire period between low and high tide.

TOP TURN: turn at the top of the wave to surf down the wave again

TUBE: Wave tube that every surfer wants to get into.

TWIN FIN: surfboard with two fins



V-BOTTOM: A slight V-shape on the bottom of the surfboard.



WALL: The unbroken front of the wave.

WAX (SURFWAX): A special wax that is rubbed on the top of the surfboard to prevent slipping.

WHITE WATER: White foam produced by the breaking of the wave (mixing of air and water).

WETSUIT: = wetsuit

WIPE-OUT: uncontrolled fall in the wave


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